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christian Kings, if we believe the Prophecy, shall hate the Whore, that is, the Idolatrous Church: But the Kings of the Earth, that is, of the Roman Empire, are described by the Holy Ghoft as affected after a quite contrary manner towards Rome, the Mystical Babylon, Rev. xviii. 9, 10. These Kings most certainly shall not hate her, nor wish her Overthrow, much less contribute to it ; but on the contary they shall bewail ber, and lament for ber, when they shall see the Smoke
. of ber. Burning caused by the other Kings, or Potentates; and shall say in the Anguish and Horror of their Minds, standing afar off for fear of the same Fate upon themselves and their Cities, Alas, alas, that great City Babylon [or Ronie] that mighty City ? How in-an Hour.is tby Fudgment come? Now to bewail and lament over any one is a Sign undoubtedly of Love and Friendship : Therefore they shall be the Friends of Rome; which was to be proved, And by consequence these are not the same with them that are appointed to execute Vengeance upon her. And further, this is that which St. John also exprefly afferts when according to the Heavenly Voice he says, they committed Fornication, and lived deliciously with her: whereas the Kings that adhere to the Beast, or Antichrift, shall be enflamed with Hatred against Rome to the utmost degree, and shall, having first plunder'd her, after that burn her with Fire, as before hath been declared from the fame Divine Revelation. Now observe here that the Kings who shall have committed Idola
try,which is Spiritual Fornication with Rome, shall be brought to a Knowledge how that by the just Judgment of God these Evils have befallen her, because of her Fornication wherewith the hath provoked the Wrath of God against her. But if this Fornication (or Idolatry) were the very Worship of Antichrist, or the proper Antichriftian Service, as some do fuppofe, then the faid Kings seeing so great Judgments of God and be wailing them, would for certain desert hereupon from Antichrift and his Service. Nevertheless thefe Kings that ftand by Antichrift shall not hereupon defert from him, or leave his Party; but even after the Desolation of Rome, continuing firmly to adhere to him, fhall fight against Christ and his Army of Saints, Rev. xix. 19. Therefore unless Antichrist can be and not be at the same time; or unless he can make War and bring a vast Army with several Confederate Kings into the Field, after that both he and his Empire hath been for some time brought to an utter end ; or unless the very same Perfons can be both Friends and Enemies at the same time, can be carried with quite contrary Affe&tions at once to the very fame Object, can love and hate together in the utmost extremes, and can exert Revenge without all Pity, and yet at the same instant dissolve into Tears of Pity, and most bitterly lament; it follows evidently that Antichrift and Babylon are Two, not One: and that neither the Pope is properly Antichrist, nor the Fornication of the Church of Rome the
proper Antichristian Service or Worship. The which is further proved by the following Reason.
III. THE Angel tells St. John, That he will shew him the Judgment of the Great Whore : But St. John saw nothing concerning the Woman (or Rome] which can at all be taken for a Fudgment with respect to the Antichriftian Beast. Yea so far is it from this, as the Kings adhering to the Beast, and that too while they adhere to him, shall execute the Judgment of God upon this Spiritual Adulterefs, and burn her, according to the Law of Lev. xxi. 9. for Profanation of her Sacerdotal Pedegree. Therefore the Great Whore, who is Judged, is not Antichrist : which Antichrist is by the Sovereign Judge made use of to fulfil his Sentence against her and her Adherents, before his own Turn cometh to be Judged also. And indeed the Coming of Antichrist shall be for this very End, that all may be Judged whether they adhere to the Truth of Christ's Gospel or not, and whether they have Pleasure in it more than in any Antichristian Delusion whatsoever, or Deceivableness of Unrighteousness: and that they all might be condemned who obey not the Truth that is in Christ, but take Pleasure rather in pursuing the Lufts of the Flesh and the Spirit; not standing fast in the Antient Faith and Practice, nor bolding the Traditions which they have been taught both by Word and by Epistle from the Apostles. This shall bring down the Judgment upon Rome, presently after the Appearance of Antichrist :
and as upon Rome, so also upon all the Gentile Christians, who have a Name to live but are dead, being fallen away from their First Love and Faith, and so having made themselves Vessels fit for Destruction, when this sore Judgment shall go forth.
IV. ANOTHER Reason for the Preference of the Ancient Notion of Antichrist to the Modern, and the Distinction of Babylon from Antichrist, is taken from St. Paul's Account of the Time of his Rise. For this is laid as a Foundation by him, That there must come a great Falling away, Defection, or Apostasy, before the Time of Antichrist. And if so, then the Apostasy of the Gentile Church, or of some Eminent Part of it, cannot rightly be accounted the State of Antichrist which is to follow upon it. The Roman (or any other) Church may leave her First Love, and may suffer Falle Prophets and Teachers to seduce the Servants of God to commit Fornication, and may Defile her Garments with sundry Abominations and Spots of the Fleshly Wisdom, and may boast of being Rich in all Spiritual and Temporal Goods, and having need of nothing, at the same time that she is in the Sight of God most miserable and wretched : But though all this will and must make ready the way for the Revelation of Antichrist, that Man of Sin who is opposed to Christ, the Lord our Righteousness; yet is not this Falling away of the Roman, or any other Church, in strict Propriety to be called Antichristian, though in a more large Sense it may take well enough that Name.
Wherefore there may be an Apostasy from the Primitive and Apoftolical Faith, without paffing thereby directly over to the Tents of Antichrif : And the Corrupt WorShip of an Unfaithful Church may be Idolatrous, more or lefs; and yet not be an Antichristian Worship, or the Worship of the Beast. Moreover it clearly appears from what Christ revealed to this Apostle, that an Apoftasy from the Orthodox Faith shall precede the Times of Antichrist ; though neither the Place where this is to be, nor the exact Time when, be here determined at all. But moft certain it is that such a preceding ApoItaly there must be, so that any true Faith shall hardly longer be found among them that make Profeflion of it : which will be an Harvest indeed for Antichrift. For they (and only they) shall be seduced by him who have not received the Love of the Truth ; neither have believed the Truth (of the Gofpel in its Purity]; but have had Pleasure in Unrighteousness. Since this is the very Cause for which God shall send them strong Delusions, that they should believe a Ly, that is, the Great Ly of Antichrist setting up himself for God. And whereas the Apostle opposes to ['Aanber] Truth, 'Adrsic, which is translated Unrighteousness, this manifestly shews it to be an Error in Practice rather than in Speculation; because 'Adixis is Unrighteousness in Faet, or a Falfhood in the Nature of the Thing, called also a Lying Vanity, that is, Idolatry. For by this Name of ADxíce is Idolatry, which is the highest In